CHICAGO (CBS) — With new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continuing an upward trend in Illinois, the state won’t be moving to the new “Bridge Phase” of its reopening plan soon, even though the state is close to meeting the vaccination threshold it set to further loosen coronavirus restrictions.
The Bridge Phase, which will allow for a gradual increase in capacity limits for businesses and public gatherings as vaccinations continue to climb, will begin only if the state is also maintaining a 20% or lower ICU bed availability rate; and holding steady on COVID-19 and COVID-like illness hospital admissions, mortality rate, and case rate; in addition to vaccinating at least 70% of Illinois seniors age 65 and up.READ MORE: Remembering Hazel Johnson, Chicago’s ‘Mother Of Environmental Justice,’ On Earth Day 10 Years After Her Passing
As of Tuesday, 69.4% of the state’s seniors have been vaccinated; and, while more than 20% of the state’s ICU beds are open as of Tuesday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, hospitalizations and new infections have been going up for the past couple weeks.
“Health officials continue to urge all residents to continue to mask up, socially distance, and avoid crowds to reduce transmission and bring the metrics back in line to transition to the Bridge Phase,” IDPH said in a statement.
IDPH reported 2,404 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois on Tuesday, as well as 17 more deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 1,241,993 cases, including 21,273 deaths.READ MORE: Federal Rescue Plan Is Supposed To Keep Unemployment Benefits Going, But Many Say They're Being Held Up In Illinois
Illinois is averaging 2,440 new cases per day over the past week, a 33% increase over one week ago, when the state was averaging 1,829 new cases per day.
The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate in Illinois is up to 3.4%, compared to 2.5% one week ago, and a pandemic low of 2.1% on March 13.
As of Monday night, 1,396 coronavirus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, including 308 in the ICU and 121 on ventilators. Illinois is averaging 1,319 COVID hospitalizations per day over the past week, a 13% increase over one week ago.
Meantime, a total of 7,053,765 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to Illinois since December, and a total of 5,664,426 doses have been administered statewide. Illinois is averaging 105,040 vaccinations per day over the past week, up from an average of 98,207 vaccinations per day one week ago.MORE NEWS: Supt. Brown On Making Improvements Within CPD After His First Year On The Job: 'We Have To Gain The Community's Trust'
As of Monday night, a total of 2,110,089 people in Illinois have been fully vaccinated, or 16.56% of the population.